Università della Svizzera italiana Faculty of Communication Sciences ./index.htm

Resource Constrained Innovation

Michael Gibbert has authored and co-authored a number of articles on resource constrained innovation, the most recent one just having been accepted for publication in the Journal of Product Innovation Management. Under the headline “Perceptions of Material Resources in Innovation Projects: What shapes them and how do they matter?” the article inquires into the role of the perceived adequacy of material resources in innovation projects. The authors not only address what drives perceptions of resource adequacy but also shed light into the relationship between perceptions of material resource adequacy and innovation project teams' performance.



Resource constrained innovation will also be a topic at the forthcoming AOM Africa conference in January 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa. A symposium on Practicing Resource Constrained Innovation and Cognitive Discovery has been accepted in the conference program.


Weiss, M., Hoegl, M., Gibbert, M. (forthcoming) Perceptions of Material Resources in Innovation Projects: What shapes them and how do they matter? Journal of Product Innovation Management.

Abstract of the paper:

Studies on the role of material resources for team performance in innovation projects have provided inconclusive results. This article focuses on team members perceptions of the provided material resources adequacy to address this gap. Understanding what drives perceptions of material resource adequacy may not only reconcile conflicting results in the literature, but may also provide much-needed guidance for project funding, so as to maximize innovation project performance. Further, the analyses in this article differentiate between two outcome dimensions of innovation project performance, namely the degree of new product quality and new product novelty, and thus offer a more fine-grained analysis of the relationship between perceptions of material resource adequacy and innovation project teams performance. The posited hypotheses are tested using a sample consisting of survey data from 121 innovation projects in the electronics industry. To avoid common source bias, data from different respondent groups, i.e., team leaders, team members, and team external managers of the examined innovation projects, were used. The results of the regression analyses identify team potency and workload as socio-cognitive drivers of innovation project teams’ perceptions of material resource adequacy. Moreover, it is found that perceived material resource adequacy relates positively to new product quality, while it relates negatively to new product novelty. This article thus provides an important step towards disentangling the ambiguity surrounding the relationship between material resource adequacy and innovation project teams performance, showing that a key finding of cognitive psychology seems to hold also on the team level of inquiry: the significant influence of socio-cognitive factors on perceptions. This finding paves the way for putting more attention in research on innovation and project management on cognitive aspects, in particular considering mechanisms behind the formation of team perceptions. Further, the results provide evidence for differential effects of perceived material resource adequacy on innovation project performance, depending on the indicators used for measuring the outcomes of an innovation project. This contributes necessary detail to studying the relationship between material resource adequacy and innovation project performance which so far has produced inconclusive results, suggesting that these contradictions might result to a large degree from different operationalizations of innovation project performance. On a practical level, the findings of this article suggest that material resource adequacy seems not to be a catch-all variable, influencing innovation project outcomes in a uniform way. It appears to be a useful lever for influencing team outcomes depending on the desired result, which may be manipulated by shaping team variables that exert a systematic influence on perceptions of material resource adequacy.